Massive search for missing Irwin Co. teacher -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Massive search for missing Irwin Co. teacher

October 30, 2005

Ocilla- More than 50 people on horseback and ATV's searched the wooded areas of Ocilla and Irwin County for any sign of Tara Grinstead. Last Saturday was the last time anyone heard from the Irwin County High School Teacher.

"If you're with someone and you're going to go talk or whatever, this might be a place where you might come to talk and it's also if you're going to take, you know it's a very secluded area," said Sonya Popken, Volunteer.

Many volunteers turned up to help with Sunday's search. Eight days after she disappeared, police say they have few clues about what happened to Tara.

"We're looking at everything, we're not ruling out whether it's an abduction, missing person, we're looking at any possibility," said Chief Billy Hancock, Ocilla Police Department.

Her family, including her brother in law say it's unlike Tara to just vanish. "She loved her dog Dolly, and Dolly was there and her cat Herman was there in the house, she always made arrangements for someone to keep them if she's gone anywhere," said Larry Gattis, Brother in law.

"We don't know what was in her pocketbook, we know she had accounts, but we don't know what she had in her purse with her at the time," said Hancock.

Teachers who worked with Tara at Irwin County High School manned the command center and grade Tara's papers hoping for the best.

"That's what we're hoping for that she just needed a break and that she's going to come back and we're all going to open our arms when she does come back, we want Tara back whatever, we want Tara back," said Jenny Abercrombie, Irwin High Department Chair.

Her family waits patiently for any word of what may have happened.

"We're worried and really hope that someone can come up with something so we can find her and we're just concerned about everyone because she was loved by many people," said Gabe Gattis, Tara's nephew.

If you're interested in more information about the search for Tara or know what may have happened to her you can contact the  web site or the Ocilla Police Department web site at

 Tara Grinstead



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